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It’s hard to imagine life without tears

Babies are born limited in a variety of ways, but crying isn’t one of them.  All babies that I’ve ever been close to have demonstrated a well-executed crying ability — and that ability never leaves. Tear ducts remain the “pressure valves” for humans to release emotion.

Little girls cry for lots of reasons. There are skinned knees, sibling clashes, sun burned faces, splinters, lost kittens and parental discipline in a long list of reasons.

Little boys are capable criers too, but they’re trained early on to curb the tears and be a “big man.”

When Eli was on a little league football team, he suffered a nasty tackle and an injured arm that sent him to the sidelines. Crocodile tears puddled in his eyes as his dad assured him it was just a bruise and to be tough.

The next day an x-ray was in order for his swollen, “bruised” arm. It was fractured, and my turn to cry for the remorse I felt in our lack of attention to his injury.

Othel remembers how his dad would snuff his adolescent sobbing. He would warn, “If you don’t quit crying, I’ll give you something to cry about.”

That’s another of those irrational threats we parents can make. Obviously Othel was crying because he already had something to cry about.

Women are the best at crying. We don’t really need a reason. Perhaps it’s hormonal or just the way God made us, but sometimes a good cry is a quick fix to the woes of life.

Happy tears are hard to explain.

A flood of joy can easily issue a flood of tears. For me, focused worship is a natural habitat for happy, rejoicing tears. I don’t invite the tears; they manage their own arrival.

Grief tears are the worst! They accompany every heartache, and their supply is continually replenished. Every family has experienced grief and is familiar with tears — the grieving kind. From newborns to departures, crying is a universal ingredient of life.

It’s hard to imagine life without tears, but according to Revelation 21, heaven will be that place — no pain, no mourning, no crying.

Read that again and rejoice if you’ve made preparation, and answer God’s invitation if you haven’t. Then savor those tears of joy while you can.

Letters to Camille Anding can be sent to P.O. Box 551, Brookhaven, MS, 39602, or e-mailed to camille@datalane.net.